True Blood 3.06 “I Got a Right to Sing the Blues” Review

July 27, 2010 by  

When you see the words “Written by Alan Ball” in the credits, it’s an immediate indication that the episode of True Blood you are about to watch will be bloody, sexy, scary, emotional–everything we love about the show. There are times you may cringe and want to look away (Tara…biting…gross), but it’s just too captivating NOT to watch.

So, to begin with, Russell drags Sookie and Bill back to his mansion, delighted by his discovery of her shocking gift. Bill‘s charade is up. He couldn’t shield her from Russell‘s greedy, power-hungry clutches, so he makes a futile attempt to escape, staking his guard and then leaping onto the King‘s shoulders to drive the stake down into his chest. With a mere shrug, Russell launches Bill up to crash into the ceiling (much to Talbot’s great dismay). Bill can only hope that Eric will help save Sookie, but Eric is too close to the vengeance he has sought for 1,000 years to let anything stand in his way.

Russell orders Bill to be taken to the slave quarters, where Lorena is commanded to kill him. Eric escorts Sookie to the study to wait for the King. She pleads with him, yells at him–anything to try to understand why he’s acting like Russell‘s lap dog and allowing Bill to be carried off to his death. “Please don’t take this the wrong way, but shut up.” When she doesn’t, he silences her with his hand over her mouth, “Thank you.”

She continues her questions while he paces, trying to think about how to handle the problems he’s facing. Sookie recalls what he said to her back in Bon Temps on her porch (another amusing impression from Anna Paquin), but Eric blows up at her: “You mean nothing to me! Nothing!” Russell enters the room and Eric puts on a huge, fake smile for him before leaving them alone to talk.

Meanwhile, at Merlotte’s, Arlene and Jessica have to deal with a very rude customer, even though they’re closed and everyone is gone for the night. Arlene accidentally cuts herself, and the scent of blood makes Jessica‘s fangs pop out because she’s so hungry. Jessica (who now knows that Arlene is pregnant) feels guilty that she is having such a bad night. She goes over to glamour the woman: “You’re not hungry anymore. Now I want you to take all the money you have and leave it on the table. Then head to the ladies’. Alright?” It might seem weird to be proud of Jessica for handling the situation like a grown-up (vampire), but she satisfies her hunger, on a woman who deserves it, doesn’t kill her, properly glamours her into forgetting, while managing to do something nice for Arlene!

Lafayette and Jesus continued the date they began last week, talking about their lives. Lafayette explains how he has tried to leave Bon Temps but keeps coming back. Jesus moved around a lot growing up. He doesn’t know who his father was because his mom was raped. When he sees that this beautiful guy has had a hard life, too, Lafayette finds himself relating to Jesus more than he expected, and they share a steamy kiss in the car.

Their attraction is undeniable, but a couple of barriers stood in the way of them getting together. For one thing, Lafayette is slow to trust–he’s used the phrase “Satan in a Sunday hat” on more than one occasion (even though, as Jesus pointed out, his name is the polar opposite). His trust issues are understandable–I have to imagine that someone who has left Bon Temps many times in his life but always returned found that the difficulties and persecution he faced in the outside world were harder to deal with than what he suffers from the country folks back home–that expression “the devil you know” comes to mind.

But he seemed ready and willing to test the water with Jesus, until those drug dealers from Hot Shot showed up at his house and started smashing up his car outside. He and Jesus beat them off, but Lafayette didn’t want to stop pounding one of them in the face. Jesus had to hold him back, and he was very disappointed to learn that Lafayette dealt drugs and V, bringing their night to an early end.

Jason and Crystal are kissing by the lake, whispering sweet nothings. When she rolls over on top of him, he laughs, “Don’t hurt me! Or do, I don’t care.” She jumps to the conclusion that he thinks she’s into perverted stuff and demands to know what he meant. “I meant, um…don’t break my heart.” (Candidate for Best Jason Moment Ever) Crystal softens up and starts crying that what they’re doing is wrong. She hears something in the woods, though, and runs off saying it’s too dangerous for them to be together. Between Jason‘s comment about how warm she is and the way she sniffed the air, it seems pretty evident that Crystal is a shifter of some sort.

In Russell‘s conversation with Sookie, they take turns asking each other questions. Sookie begs him to stop Lorena from killing Bill, but Russell wonders why she still wants him. He shows her the dossier Bill kept on her family, but she barely even has time to process it. When it becomes clear that Sookie doesn’t understand her powers or her value to vampires like himself and the Queen, he asks condescendingly, “Oh, sweetheart, you really don’t know anything at all, do you?”

The scenes in which Lorena tortures Bill, while tough to watch, are Mariana Klaveno‘s best work on the series. She deals with her suffering (over her inability to make Bill love her, and the fact that she will lose him forever when he’s dead) in the sadistic way that she cuts him with silver and inflicts as much pain on him as possible. Not to mention cutting herself and mixing her blood in his cuts so that she will be inside him in the end. Bill looks up at her with pity in his eyes, “I wish I had known you before you were Made, before you turned hard. I would liked to have seen you smile with light in your eyes, instead of darkness. That would’ve been something.”

What has gotten into Tara?! She stops letting herself being a victim and takes charge of the situation with Franklin in an intense way. She convinces him that she truly wants to be with him so that he’ll untie her. Then she says she wants to drink his blood and get high on it while making love to him as her last human act before “giving myself to you, then Death.” “Kinky,” he says, but he’s totally into it. She steels herself up and then rips open his neck. Afterwards, Tara lies in Franklin‘s arms, with blood all over her white gown. She sends a mental message to Sookie, who is locked in another guest room, to expect her when the sun comes up: Be ready. We’re gonna need all the luck in the world, but I’m gonna get us out of here. I am not giving up with out a fight.

Talbot and Eric are flirting and playing cards when the King comes in and asks Eric to accompany him on an errand. That seems to be the last straw with Talbot: “You never take me anywhere! You prefer to be in the company of sycophants. Deep down, my darling, you’re a very wicked character.” He walks off muttering to himself in Greek. Eric turns on the charm with Russell as well when they take a ride over to visit Sophie-Anne.

Eric admits to killing the werewolf that attacked him at Sookie‘s house, not out of love for her but to protect himself and because he despises those creatures. Russell gives him a glimpse into his ultimate dream: “If all the supernaturals would stop squabbling among themselves and unite, we could conquer humans in a matter of days.” He believes that mankind is heading “towards oblivion,” destroying themselves and the planet. Vampires are the master race, and everything he has done and planned has been to making that a reality on earth.

Russell finds the Queen on the ground by her pool, scratching lottery tickets and rejoicing over winning $100. He presents her with a rose and gets down on one knee. She has rejected his proposal over and over again, but now he knows that she has been selling V because she owes money. He promises to settle her debts, and when she still doesn’t accept, Eric rushes in and pins her to the ground. Her fangs pop out threateningly, but he just laughs: “I’m older and stronger than you. I’ve only submitted to you in the past because of respect. But you framed me, so I renounce any and all allegiance to you. I am his now. I will rip your head off and throw it in the pool, and I will have fun doing it.”

Sophie-Anne fumes in anger, but Russell knows that he has won. Now he will help Eric with the Magister. No Pam for the past two weeks now, as she is being held prisoner at Fangtasia. In show time, it’s only been two days, but I still can’t help missing Kristin Bauer van Straten‘s great presence and Pam’s sarcastic wit.

Next we see Lorena and Bill, she is licking his blood off a knife as bloody tears pour down her face, waiting for him to die. “What will you do then?” he asks. “Find another man that you deem honorable, so that you can turn him into a violent, hateful thing like yourself, destroying whatever it was that you loved about him to begin with.” She wants him to admit that he enjoyed all the time they spent together in the beginning, killing and making love.

We get a revealing moment about her when Bill brings up her Maker and the horrible things Lorena did for him: “He made you his mirror, just as you’ve tried to make me yours. He is the reason that a girl who once marveled in the beauty of all life, now delights in bringing pain and horror to every moment.” For a moment, it seems as though Lorena will be too upset to actually go through with killing him, but when Debbie and Coot stumble in for a taste of Bill‘s blood, she leaves them to finish him off.

Melinda comes to Sam’s to speak with Tommy. She tells him that he has to go back out on “the circuit” because she’s too old and hurt now. He can’t escape their life just because Sam seems willing to help him in the short-term. She convinces Tommy that she and Joe Lee are all he has, that Sam isn’t really family, and he leaves with her. Sam has no idea where he went, until Arlene mentions the Mickens loading a pit bull into the back of their van. Then he approaches Andy to start asking questions about local dog fighting.

Jason gets dressed up in his letterman jacket from high school football (awww, Crystal makes him feel like a schoolboy) and takes flowers to her house in Hot Shot. She pretends not to know him because her fiance (the same idiot Lafayette beat up the night before) answers the door. She calls him a dumbass and kicks him out, and Jason‘s temporary happiness (the first he’s had since what happened with Eggs) is over too soon.

In the morning, Tara crawls out of bed, grabs a mace from the wall, and smashes Franklin‘s head in. (She is a fearsome thing to behold, covered in blood!) She changes clothes and pretends to be bringing food to Sookie so that the werewolf guard will let her in: “If she ain’t eating almonds, Talbot ain’t gonna be happy, and if Talbot ain’t happy, Russell ain’t happy, and if Russell ain’t happy, you dog boys ain’t gonna be getting any vampire blood. Now open up the damn door!” Together the two girls knock him out and make a run for it. Tara goes to look for a car, while Sookie insists on finding Bill in case he’s still alive. Tara thinks she’s an idiot because of all the things Bill has done, but Sookie refuses to leave without him.

Tara is running across the yard when a white wolf chases her down, but when he shifts, it’s Alcide (naked!) who has come to help. Sookie is over at the slave quarters waiting for a high Debbie and Coot to leave. When she gets inside, Bill is drained to the very edge of death. Crying, she shakes him, and then he whispers her name. “I’m gonna get you out of here. I’m gonna make you well if it’s the last thing I do! Because I love you, Bill Compton, I’m not about to let you go.” Lorena interrupts, no longer sad but fiery mad, saying this is all Sookie‘s fault and pinning her to wall and biting into her. The end!

“I Got a Right to Sing the Blues” was shocking, to be sure, but it has also set up the action for what’s going to happen in the second half of the season. What did everybody else think about this episode, and what were your favorite quotes?

(Photo credit: HBO Inc.)

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